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Source: Al-Monitor by Susanne Güsten As Ankara prepares to receive Pope Francis on Nov. 28-30, Turkish media have noted with raised eyebrows that Turkish affairs do not appear to be uppermost on the pope’s mind. “It was conspicuous that the pope chose to speak of the ‘Ecumenical Patriarchate’ and ‘Constantinople’ rather than of Turkey,” when referring to the destination of his upcoming visit, the daily Milliyet pointed out huffily. It is a Turkish delusion of grandeur to believe that the spiritual leader of over a billion Catholics around the world should see, one and a half years into his papacy and before…

Source: Beliefnet You would see Jack in church, during vespers or at the liturgy, and he would be stock still and so lost in prayer that if he hadn’t been standing, you would swear he was asleep. ou would see Jack in church, during vespers or at the liturgy, and he would be stock still and so lost in prayer that if he hadn’t been standing, you would swear he was asleep. They found his body last week on his couch at home, his prayer rope in his hand. He fell asleep praying, and never woke up. Jack had been…

Source: NewsOK Christian televisions producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, of the acclaimed “The Bible” series, are raising $25 million with help from King Abdullah II of Jordan to help displaced Christians in Syria and Iraq. by Deborah Sutton, Deseret News Film-producing couple Mark Burnett and Roma Downey have stepped up to renew attention to the needs of displaced Christians in Iraq and Syria who are in urgent need of food and shelter before winter sets in. The Christian couple behind the Emmy-nominated “The Bible” series have given $1 million to begin funding their Cradle of Christianity Fund. They hope to…

Source: Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America To the Most Reverend Clergy, Venerable Monastics and Devout Faithful of the Holy Orthodox Churches in the Americas: Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, During this holiday season, many of us are turning our thoughts to welcoming beloved family and friends into our homes, to share with them the best that we have to offer, and to share our gratitude for the many blessings our Heavenly Father has bestowed upon us. As we prepare to open our homes to guests who are dear to us, please consider welcoming one more guest into…

Source: Orthodox Church in America YONKERS, NY [SVOTS Communications]  On November 8, 2014, at a special academic convocation, the Board of Trustees and faculty of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary here awarded His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion [Alfeyev] of Volokolamsk, Chair of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. Metropolitan Hilarion was on campus to present a public lecture, “Primacy and Conciliarity from an Orthodox Perspective” — a topic of critical importance to the Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches, of which he is a key participant.  [The complete…

Source: Terry Mattingly’s On Religion If the goal is to map the evolving landscape of American religion, the late George Gallup, Jr., once told me, it was crucial to keep asking two kinds of questions. The kind attempted to document things that never seemed to change or that were changing very, very slowly. Thus, Gallup urged his team to keep using old questions his father and others in the family business began asking in the 1940s and ’50s, such as how often people attended worship services, how often they prayed and whether they believed in God. The second kind of…

Source: Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America On October 27, 2014, His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, delivered the following speech on Mount Athos during extended travels in Greece. (Arabic original here.) “At night when human voices, movements and tumult are clothed in stillness, enlighten every movement of my soul with Yourself, O Jesus, Light of the Righteous. At the hour when you give rest to the weary, O my Lord, let our thoughts of you be intoxicated with the sweetest dream, O sweetness of the saints. At the time of going to sleep,…

Source: Orthodox Church in America LIGONIER, PA [AOCA] – The 2015 Orthodox Christian Camp and Youth Worker Conference will be held at Antiochian Village here January 22-24, 2015.  The theme will be “Walking Alongside our Youth.” The conference, now in its 13th year, exists to bring together all Orthodox Christians engaged in youth ministry at any level and in any form for several days to further their education, foster brotherhood, and provide fellowship.  Each year a different jurisdiction of the Orthodox Churches in the United States hosts the conference, with the input and direction provided by the Orthodox Christian Camp…

Source: Orthodox Church in America SYOSSET, NY [OCA]  Adult volunteers are now being sought to assist with the youth program during the 18th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America, slated to convene in Atlanta, GA July 20-24, 2015. All volunteers must register here. All volunteers will be expected to complete a three-stage review process before their participation can be confirmed.  The first step is to apply at the above link.  Youth Program Coordinators will examine applications.  All references will be checked and, upon acceptance, applicants will complete the second stage, which will entail completing an OCA-funded training program…

Source: The National Herald BY CONSTANTINOS E. SCAROS PALM HARBOR, FL – Greek singing superstar Giannis Ploutarchos took time out of his U.S. tour to help some fellow Greeks in need: the community of Sts. Raphael, Nicholas, and Irene in Palm Harbor, FL whose church was severely damaged by a fire in late September. As TNH reported (“Fire Damages Palm Harbor Church, but Remains of 3 Saints are Saved,” Oct. 4), a fire in the early morning hours of September 23 – an investigation of which concluded it was electrical in nature – would have caused the entire church to…

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